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colour schemes used in brand logos

Colour Psychology in Fast Food Restaurant logos

As you strall around cities across Germany, possibly carrying a couple of shopping bags in your, your stomach tells you it is dinner time. Time to grab some lunch, but where?

What doesn’t help is numerous of fast food signs scattered all over the main streets giving you the hardest task of choosing what your stomach desires. However, it’s not always your stomach that’s leads you towards our chosen restaurant but your subconsciously can choose too from the power of psychology.

For years Fast-food restaurants have been using colour psychology, with the ultimate goal of luring customers to their restaurant. By tapping into specific feelings within your mind, they want you to step inside their spot to dig into a würstel, snack on a pretzel, or sip a cold beer.

With manufacturers of Gitterrinne, we’ve explored the colour schemes used in brand logos of 50 international fast-food restaurants. Why and how do they have an impact on their success?


To avoid readability problems, the colour white cannot be utilised on its own. However, it can offer brand images a perfect, clean backdrop. Likewise, it saves colourful logos from being too chaotic, providing them with a touch of order and simplicity.

Therefore it comes with no surprise that it is one of the most popular colours. In fact, out of the 50 brands we evaluated, 20 have selected the colour white as an integral part of their brand’s logo.


Black has slowly re-evaluated from once an unappealing colour. Now, it is a common choice for restaurants and fast-food chains. Indeed, 16 out of 50 logos adopt black features within their design. But why is it so popular?

First of all, there are no other colour that guarantees  a better readability, especially against a white background. Secondly, black evokes a sense of elegance, class, and sophistication. It increases people’s perception of value and high quality, just like a refined black truffle. As fashionistas will agree, black is always a safe bet!


When it comes to tempting an appetite and desire for food, the king of the persuasive colours is red. Widely renowned as the tint of passion and power, accelerating both your nerve impulses and your heartbeat, red also increases your hunger and stimulates a physical response. No wonder it is the most frequent colour shade on fast-food packaging and restaurant logos!

There are 32 brands out of our 50 who use tones of red within their logo design. With your neurons in jubilation inside the brain’s hypothalamus, you will immediately associate this evocative colour with sweet goodness and juicy meat. In short, this is why you will struggle to restrain your hunger.


Similar to the colour red, orange activates the impulses to eat and activates the senses too. Ultimately, it does exactly want a restaurant wants. Because it lends itself well as an appetising colour, orange features in 9 out of the 50 fast-food restaurants we have examined.

The colour orange also symbolises affordability. This is a great expedient for fast food chains that aim to welcome diners that are in search of a reasonably priced meal.


Yellow cannot be left to its own devices just like white, as potential customers may struggle to read the restaurant’s name. Hence, it is mainly used as an effective and faithful companion of red logos or is simply partnered up with other darker colours.

One of beauties of using yellow, is that our brain can process it faster than any other colour, and it lalso has the ability to immediately capture the attention of possible clients. Moreover, it has been found that the colour yellow releases a feel-good chemical called serotonin. What this suggests is that, while enticing consumers from the outset, it has also the power to make people happy with the meal they have just purchased.

With an wide range of uplifting connotations, it comes with no surprise that 15 brands out of 50 brands have used yellow within their logo to promote their fast-food restaurant.  


Despite blue being German men’s favourite colour within the fashion world, it certainly does diners no favours.

There are no natural blue foods, except for blueberries. It may spark memories of mould on an expired loaf of bread – but that’s certainly not very appetising. In short, research suggests that the colour blue tends to be an obstacle for feelings of hunger.

That said, I can still be used effectively. Blue portrays a sense of trust and dependability, which are two sentiments that restaurants are more than happy to be aligned with. Naturally, given that it is a popular colour, 11 brands out of 50 ended up opting for blue in their design.


As consumers become more aware of the importance of sustainability, green generally indicates health and well-being. Because of its immediate correlation with parks, nature, and the environment, green tends to invoke feelings of calm and relaxation.

In Germany 9 brands out of 50 have adopted green features within their logo. Is it an implicit invitation to sit down at the restaurant table and unwind? It’s an offer you just cannot refuse.

Purple and pink

Purple and pink are the least popular colour options, as only two fast-food restaurants have chosen pink and only one has chosen purple to use in their design. On one hand, pink stimulates a desire for sugar and sweets and, therefore, is more in line with dessert-selling locales.

On the flipside, purple tends to arouse the feelings of wisdom and spirituality. Possibly, not emotions that take priority in a fast-food chain’s mission. However, if a restaurant is on the lookout for an original, memorable design, it is the perfect shade to steer away from the usual warm colours.

Fast-food restaurants, over the years, have worked hard on the style, colour, and composition of their brand logos. If your stomach starts rumbling in the street, bear in mind that it is not just you being greedy. It is colours working their magic.